MSNBC Still Hasn't Decided if Harold Ford Will Return After Misconduct Claim

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Harold Ford

The former congressman and 'Morning Joe' regular has been benched since Dec. 7 with no word on his status.

MSNBC has yet to announce a final decision about the employment status of contributor Harold Ford more than a month and a half after the network said it was pulling him off air while it looked into a report about Ford's termination from his day job at Morgan Stanley.

Since then, MSNBC hasn't provided any additional details about Ford's status and the status of the network's inquiry, despite regular requests for updates. A network spokesman would not comment on the case on the record on Friday, and a spokesperson for Ford did not respond to a request for comment.

There have been some developments in Ford's case since Dec. 7, when the network said it was pulling Ford off the air following a report in HuffPost that Morgan Stanley fired him for "conduct inconsistent with our values and in violation of our policies." Ford had agreed with the network's decision for him to stay off the air, a source told The Hollywood Reporter at the time.

On Jan. 11, The New York Times reported that Ford was fired even though Morgan Stanley had not been able to corroborate a harassment charge leveled against him by a female reporter. "The existence of the harassment allegation was too much for Morgan Stanley, especially since Mr. Ford was already in a precarious position, the bank officials said," according to the report. "Executives also felt he had misled them about some of the evening’s events."

On Monday, Morgan Stanley put out a statement formally clarifying that Ford was fired "based on corporate policy," not for sexual misconduct. "We have not received any internal allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct involving him either before or after his separation became public," the bank said. (The reporter who broke the story of Ford's termination said that Monday's "clarification" was part of a settlement with Ford.)

On Thursday, CNN announced that contributor Ryan Lizza would be reinstated and welcomed back on air. He was pulled from the air (some said "suspended") on Dec. 11, after The New Yorker fired him for "improper sexual conduct." CNN said an "extensive investigation" did not turn up any reason for him to be kept on the sidelines.

With Lizza's status at CNN clarified, Ford is one of the few remaining cable news personalities in limbo.

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